MassHealth, Nursing Homes, and Real Estate: How the Five-Year Look-Back Works

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The average cost of a nursing home is $10,000 per month.  Few people have enough money to pay for such an expense.  So they apply for government help.

MassHealth will cover your nursing home expenses only after you spend your own money (down to your last $2,000).  They will also penalize you for any assets that you transferred out of your name within five years prior to applying for assistance.

According to 130 CMR 520.019(B):

Transfers of resources are subject to a (5 year) look-back period, beginning on the first date the individual is both a nursing-facility resident and has applied for or is receiving MassHealth Standard.

For most people their largest assist is their home.  Therefore, I often get questions regarding how to transfer title to your home in order to keep it out of the reach of both a nursing home and MassHealth.

There are a few ways this can be done and I discuss them in this video:

If you have additional questions please feel free to contact me at


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